Ladder for Shropshire: Impressive apprentice urges more young people to follow in his footsteps

One of the first people to secure an apprenticeship through the relaunched Ladder for Shropshire campaign is urging more people to do the same.

Daniel Wheeler, Danvac managing director, with apprentice Tom Ellis
Daniel Wheeler, Danvac managing director, with apprentice Tom Ellis

Tom Ellis joined industrial equipment supplier Danvac about 12 months ago and said his apprenticeship has helped him gain access to a career path while learning new skills.

When Tom was 16 the careers advice he received seemed to be directing him to A-levels or a college course, and he knew very little about apprenticeships.

His next step was therefore to start an A-level course but he didn’t enjoy it and felt that he needed to do something more practical.

He felt engineering would be right for him, so he researched apprenticeships, and applied for the electrical engineering apprenticeship with Shrewsbury-based Danvac, which was being promoted by the Ladder for Shropshire.

Danvac manufactures, supplies and services vacuum lifting equipment, and Tom has been involved in all aspects of the business.

Working alongside skilled engineers, Tom has learned quickly and is now taking on jobs on his own. The work is very diverse, from making control panels to going out servicing on site.

Tom is also learning a great deal from his day release course at SBC Training where he has successfully completed all the modules so far. The 18-month course will see him qualify at level two in engineering, and discussions are already underway about progression to technician level three.

He said: “I would without a doubt recommend an apprenticeship. It allows you to gain access to a career path whilst learning skills, whether that be technical or communication skills.

"Apprenticeships give you the unique opportunity to apply knowledge you have learnt in the classroom to the workplace and allows you to physically see the progression you are making which is a great feeling of achievement.

"SBC Training offers a much more tailored course, as they are able to hand pick units from the engineering syllabus, which makes the apprenticeship more job specific.”

The Ladder for Shropshire, which was relaunched just over 12 months ago, said it was eager to create many more apprenticeship opportunities in Shropshire in 2022.

Amanda Carpenter, project lead for the Ladder, said: “We wanted to start the year by revisiting the success of Tom who joined Danvac at the beginning of 2021.

"It’s great to look back and see how well our early recruits are progressing and the positive impact they are having on their employing organisations. Tom has a great future in front of him and we wish him every success.

"Tom was one of the first apprentices to secure an apprenticeship with the support of the Ladder for Shropshire and I would encourage any employers that would like to offer an apprenticeship to contact me for impartial advice."

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